Darlene Love on Phil Spector Death: ‘I Feel Very Sad

The “He’s a Rebel” singer shares her complex emotions in the aftermath of producer’s death

legendary producer reported victim of Covid at 81

He was only a few years away from his prison release date with fans hoping for at least one more production effort by the

‘Wall of Sound’. Spector passed Jan 16 at 81 in Stockton CA. More to follow

All Time Legendary Christmas LP, 1963


FILM DOMUMENTARY: The Agony and Ecstacy of Phil Spector

Phil Spector was a pioneer of American music, a legendary producer to John Lennon and Tina Turner, and, as of April 13th 2009, a convicted murderer. Yet the Spector who appears in Vikram Jayanti’s documentary is not the severe, outlandishly coiffed defendant seen in sensationalistic accounts of his trial, but a charming, savvy music executive with a generous, but arguably accurate, estimation of his place in the history of popular music. (from Rafael Theater review, San Rafael CA)


After just losing 2 hours of writing my review of this film I saw last night, let me just say , that whatever you think of Phil Spector I would recommend seeing this film. For old rock and rollers or anyone iinterested in a good psychological drama, producer gives us a little bit of everything by juxtaposing Spector’s’ music with the court case and with , the highlight, excerpts from a rare interview he got with Spector just prior to the court case and eventual conviction.

Spector was now in jail for over 10 years so critics can feel more comfortable watching this film knowing he was paying his dues for an apparent accidental murder of girlfriend Lana Clarkson. Those with a psychological bent maybe able to get into the head of Spector , at least somewhat, to see if a miserable childhood with suicidal father may have contributed to Spector’s bizarre personality. At the same time, one must be able to separate this terrible crime from a brilliant music career that has been largely forgotten .

Whether it is because rock and roll never gained full respect until the Beatles came along in 1964 or because Spector’s behavior was so abhorent

to many, some great music may never have seen major exposure again without the criminal case. I know its sad that it often takes a crime to bring a talent back in the limelight. But take it for what it is. Ajanty has laid out 20 or so of of Spectors finest productions, featuring classics like Be My Baby by the Ronnettes and You’ve Lost That Lovin Feeling by The Righteous Brothers as a backdrop, or perhaps foredrop, to the ongoing trial excerpts and amazing S pector interview from 2007.

In the interview excerpts, chich account for about half the movie, Spector comes across as both sympathetic and perhaps sociopathic, as he has been labelled by many. His grandeous ego and seeming lack of wrongdoing goes along with the latter, yet one must consider Spectors actual statements – much more lucid than might expect – re the trial and the treatment he has received both recently and in his past. Spector talks about his father, who committed suicide (though Spector embellishes the story, saying that his Dad ‘ shot himself when Phil was five or six’ when , in fact, it was by gas asphyixiation when Spector was 10 or 11, according to the producer, who was in the audience opening night, in San Rafael, where he later tood questions.

Phil Spector’s landmark effort, River Deep Mountain High, by Tina Turner in 1966, is regarded by many pure music critics as his finest single effort; yet, by then Spector’s time may have run out. The recording failed inthe United States, though it was No. 1 in England. Spector blamed it on white DJs not wanting to play it because it was too black and black DJs not wanting to play it for whatever reason, I didn’t quite get… Few would have little to do with him and the Ramones actually fired him midway thru recording, to this writer’s memory.

Spector was given a second life, as it were when Beatles and then John Lennon and George Harrison hired him . Many top sellers came out of these sessions, including a the ‘Let It Be’ sessions, ‘My Sweet Lord’ for George Harrison, ‘Imagine’ for Lennon, a full album of classic rock and roll from Lennon and some rewrites including ‘The Long and Winding Road,’of which Spector had criticized the original as full of mistakes with John ‘playing wrong notes on bass, ‘ etc. It may be a wonder the Beatles kept Spector around as long as they did, thru 1972 and Lennon’s song ‘ Woman is the World’s Nigger.’ Buy then maybe they realized Spector knew what he was talking about. Spector always known for speaking his mind and speaking out; elsewhere in the film he criticized his wealthy and talented high school mates and teachers at Fairfax High in Los Angeles for NOT speaking out, saying he was the only one who did, and became ostricized for it. He was always a loner, he said, though music did give him a modicum of popularity.

The Agony and Exstacy of Phil Spector has a little bit of something for everyone. Music fan or not, you should find it compelling and one of the few films that combines psychological drama , great music and a rare, up close, candid interview, the likes of which you will probably never see again.

As a music person, I would like to see a second movie about Spector featuring the making of the ‘Wall of Sound,’ interviews with members of the ‘Wrecking Crew’ which backed many Spector productions, more of the lesser known gems produced by Spector, such as those by Ray Peterson and Gene Pitney (including the incomparable ‘Every Little Breath I Take’ which can be heard on this site) and the infamous ‘Christmas Album’ in 1962.’During the trial on Court TV we were treated to interviews with many of Spector’s cohorts such as Darlene Love(who sang on many of the songs, regardless of group name, Carroll Connors, who sang lead on ‘To Know Him Is To Love Him,’ Spector’s first recording, on which he sang, with the Teddy Bears .

Phil Spector is crazy, brilliant, charming all in one and he was convicted of killing a woman for which he paid his price.

The Ronettes: Ultimate Collection; Greatest HitsJohn Lennon: Imagine [VHS]

Tearing Down the Wall of Sound: The Rise and Fall of Phil Spector (Vintage)

SHINDIG! Presents the Righteous Brothers [VHS]The Righteous Brothers – In Concert

Phil Spector’s Christmas Album The Beatles 1972 APPLE ReleasePhil Spector: Back to Mono
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Phil Spector Returns

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Forgotten Christmas and Favorites for YOU! Jesse, Gene, Phil, Elvis, Fats, Jerry, Dion, 4 Seasons

Don’t Care for Current TV Programming? Miss the good old days of shows like Johnny Carson, Ed Sullivan and the great variety of stars of music, comedy and entertainment? Now it’s back, in 21 hours of all your favorites. Just CLICK BELOW

Golden Age of TV


The VENTURES -‘Snowflakes’ ala Greensleeves upbeat instrumental

CHARLES BROWN’s ‘Please Come Home for Christmas’ has to be in the top 10 of all Christmas songs

Not sure if Gene had any Christmas hits but there’s nothing more Christmas than this beautiful rare version of the Lord’s Prayer

A rarity from Gene Pitney, appropriate for Christmas

SOLOMON BURKE – Presents for Christmas

For a change of pace let’s look back at this wonderful interview from probably the late 70s with GENE PITNEY done by the equally wonderful Canadian DJ RED ROBINSON…DEFINITELY FITTING FOR CHRISTMAS… in which a very honest Pitney speaks frankly how music and the times changed from the 60s to the 70s-and not for the better
phil spector albumChristmas is timeless. While music changes along with everything else the rest of the year we come back to the tried and true standards that brung us here. How can you beat the likes of Rockin Around the Chrsitmas Tree, White Christmas (Bing, Drifters and others), Phil Spector’s classics – Phil celebrates a birthday this week!, Pretty Paper,Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, O Holy Night and so many more. Roch, Country, Pop and R and B all come together like families this one time of year… Enjoy your/our favoirtes!

IF THE PHIL SPECTOR CHRISTMAS ALBUM isn’t the best all time Christmas LP we’d like to know a better one. Here’s side 1 to start things off..

JACKIE WILSON was sometimes called the Black Elvis, with not dissimilar looks and near operatic vocal style on ballads

FOUR SEASONS, like many had thier own Christmas album with some great songs like this one , that became a hit

DION (no not Celine please) doing his great version of the Phil spector classic sung orignally by Darlene Love and Crystals. Dion has a great Christmas album out around 2009.

ELVIS’ Christmas classic ‘Blue Christmas

THE KILLER, JERRY LEE LEWIS Doing his version of Blue Christmas, originally recorded by Jim Reeves; Elvis was not the first

FATS DOMINO had his own Chirstmas album a few years back when Dion did and it was also a real sleeper that didn’t get the airplaly. How’s HIS version of ‘Blue Christmas’ here…

CHARLES BROWN, Mr. Merry Christmas Baby, with his original of “Please Come Home for Christmas’ circa 1961



Christmas Favorites for YOU! Jesse, Gene, Phil, Elvis, Fats, Jerry, Dion, 4 Seasons

The Musicians Behind Phil Spector,Sinatra,Beach Boys,Sam Cooke – New Documentary,Book

The Wrecking Crew Tell Musical History On New Soundtrack (from WreckingCrew)


They were Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound. They also played so many of the hits you know and love from the ’50s and the ’60s, from artists like the Beach Boys, The Monkees, Cher, The Carpenters, Sam Cooke and many, many more. The Wrecking Crew was their name, and their story has yet to be told. Until now. With a documentary, a soundtrack and a book, The Wrecking Crew will finally receive the acclaim they deserve, even if, as executive producer Danny Tedesco says, they felt just fine with their place away from the spotlight.

How is it that such a talented group working on some of the most well-known projects in music history has gone under the radar for so long?

When these folks were recording in the ‘50s and early ’60s, the business of Rock and Roll was really at its infancy. As much as we always think of music as art, when there is money involved, it’s a business first. It doesn’t mean that the music wasn’t some of the greatest songs recorded, but it means to get some of these recordings down, they needed session musicians. Most of the time, it wasn’t any deep, dark conspiracy. It was just the way it worked. When the business starts to change in the ’70s, everyone is concentrating about what is going on at that moment in time. So we moved on.

As a society that is inundated with information in all mediums, we forget what happened six months ago. Try to think what happened 50 years ago. But I think we naturally want to discover something in the past that we didn’t know about.

You’ve screened the film at multiple festivals. What’s been the most common response from audiences or critics?

I’ve screened this film around the world with so many different audiences. People assume I must be tired of screening the film. Not at all. I’m at the point of watching the audience reaction. I realized we speak of the British invasion, but the American invasion was much bigger and longer. I’ve seen this film in Spain, Israel, England, Germany and everyone knows the music. That is the main common denominator.

But they’re blown away by the diversity of the music. They also realize these musicians are like anyone else. They were not the stars, but they were treated like stars by the stars. They worked for a living like any one else. They put their kids through school, put food on the table like any other parent.

When and how did the vision for a film on The Wrecking Crew first come together?

I always thought about doing this film abuut my father and his friends. But reality of it came together in 1996, when my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer. They gave him a year to live. I was fearful that if I didn’t jump on this, my biggest regret in life would be I didn’t jump on this. So I started filming my father, drummer Hal Blaine, bassist Carol Kaye, and saxophonist Plas Johnson at a round table. That was in 1996. It took 18 years to be able to clear all the rights of music to be able to release the film.

When was it obvious that a soundtrack would also be a part of the overall package?

The soundtrack was always part of the plan from day one. It seemed so obvious. But after 18 years, distributors don’t care about soundtracks, which was crazy. This is the first time that the songs on this compilation will feature songs they recorded. The hardest part was figuring out what to cut. We had a list of over 250 songs.

If it wasn’t for Pledge music and our producers of the soundtrack we wouldn’t have the chance to do it. Ninety-nine percent of every screening over the years, people would ask about a soundtrack album. Now we can say, ‘Yes, we have a soundtrack album.’

For those who were a part of the Crew, was there ever a sense of unfairness not receiving the notoriety or fame?

Never. They loved with what they did and got paid very well. They were stars within the music community. When they asked my father if he should have been paid more if he added that extra piece to a song, his response was, ‘I made hundreds of hits, but I made thousands of bombs. I never gave anyone their $25.00 back. I treated it like a business.’

Can you tell us about the book that is also available?

Ken Sharp did an amazing job over the few years interviewing many of the Crew, artists, and engineers. He put together a coffee table book with the help of Mark London, which is 280 pages and 12”x 12″, the size of of an LP. It’s gorgeous. The photos, design and the interview will go down as a must have for anyone that wants to know about that scene in L.A. during the Wrecking Crew years.


The Wrecking Crew

Film Soundtrack

We’re releasing a soundtrack with ALL of the hits we’ve played on. Pre-order NOW so we can share our story with YOU!

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Rachelle Spector – A Reason to Reconsider Phil Spector Case

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Rachelle Spector – A Reason to

Reconsider Phil Spector Case

A new story develops behind the Phil Spector Case and Saga. I thought that when Spector lost his case and was sent to prison for all practical purposes the rest of his life that he was through. In fact, I wondered if a man of his split personality and small and somewhat frail stature could survive in a prison of murderers.  Perhaps Spector HAS a chance – and it may be because of a devoted wife. Laugh if you will… as many have already in the articles we’ve seen.  


Interesting story coming out  about Rachelle Spector, the wife of the infamous Phil Spector. She’s been with Spector off and on for about 10 years and has most recently wrote a song for him, ‘P.S. I Love You,’ which she is promoting in what we see in a fairly quiet, tasteful way. Limited interviews and with something to say, in our opinion.  One such recent interview appears here, from

   One has to at least have an open mind about what Ms. Spector is doing…basically a one person publicity effort to change public opinion about the man, from that of an abusive, ego-maniacal husband and producer to someone with a charming and softer side if it is allowed to come out.  I personally saw some of this latter side in the rare , movie -interview,Agony and Ecstacy of Phil Spector,which is available thru normal video channels. I suggest skeptics watch this and keep an open mind re Spector. His case resulted in a hung jury first time and then a non -unanimous jury; his is not a simple closed case.   I haven’t seen lawyers or publicists speaking for Rachelle Spector. She seems to be doing it all on her own.  Whatever you think of her, I hope she can maintain her dignity,   composure – and sanity amongst the TMZ’s of the world  and stay clear of papparazi who may want to tarnish her and and Phil Spector’s reputation further. The man’s already in jail, essentially for life; what more do you want from him? 

Yes, I’m a fan of Spector’s music, and , with that, I’ve taken the time to learn about the man, his difficult background and problems he’s had ‘fitting in.’  He’s not the first.  Phil Spector is an interesting character of whom many people have come to appreciate after looking at the whole man. Sure, it’s easy to laugh him off as some  crazed and wigged-out reclusive music producer from another era .  Perfect fodder for an insensitive  media today  that will make life-threatening  fun of people  at the drop of a hat . Bullying can happen to older folks, too.  It’s no wonder we’re  moving more and more to a homogenized society that no longer allows for unique personalities, that can easily make fun of  talented people because they don’t look or act the part that we’re ‘supposed to’.  So much for that caring, ‘transparent’ society they try to tell us we’re living in. No wonder suicide rates are skyrocketing as is violence in America..  Maybe the ‘intolerant ‘ 1950s that allowed for real characters wasn’t all that intolerant  after all. (al be it , in the South).  just ask older folks today who’ve lived through it all and they’ll tell you more and more why they call it ‘the good old days.’

Here’s what would appear a decent woman, Rachelle Spector, who has known Spector well for 10 years. She’s sacrificing the prime of her life to support him . She could certainly find another rich man who could do more for her now than   Phil can do from behind bars.  It was a terrible thing that happened to Lana Clarkson. But to automatically write off Phil Spector as a crazed murderer based largely on past reputation is wrong, triial or no trial. Rachelle Spector has a long, uphill battle.   Many would have walked away years ago but she hasn’t.  At the very least let’s try to appreciate this person who HAS stood by her man through thick and thin. How much longer she can do it must be in question. Without her still in his life, Phil Spector could easily become yet another   victim of not only our out of control prison system but of our increasingly intolerant culture.






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‘ PHIL SPECTOR ‘ Movie Trailer Sums Up New HBO Film


This trailer from ‘PHIL SPECTOR’ sums up the film pretty well in 2 minutes… listen closely to all the words and statements.  Now you don’t need to watch it, unless your’e a big Phil Spector and Al Pacino fan, as I am. All I can say is it’s too bad he ever met Lana Clarkson  
Re PHIL SPECTOR movie last nite, Interesting and sad how Spector’s life is now in prison and while others, perhaps more guilty , like Robert Blake and Robert Wagner, are free – probably because they are more sympathetic characters  . No place  for eccentrics in society anymore…..and So much for US jury system and innocent until proven guilty….the public may have been  ready to finally put away a celebrity, especially one like Spector, after letting so many go free , eg OJ, Blake…

Movie could have been a lot better, perhaps with planned Bette Midler as attorney. Knowing Spector’s genius music producing I wanted to like him and did to some extent. Would have liked to see more background footage of his difficult yet positive past. Http://


HBO Films Phil Spector Trailer